The common belief is that the first impression of anyone is formed within the first 30-seconds of meeting. The impression is generally based on the appearance, way of dressing, body language, expressions and mannerisms. For more on body language, watch the video at the end of our body language tips post.
Anyone can take care of these factors by practicing and mastering them to make a good first impression. First impressions mostly become permanent and difficult to erase.
It also forms the base and tone of the relationship to follow. After all, you get only one chance to make an impression that is indelible. The first impression you create will set the course of the new relationship you are about to form whether at a party, a date, a job interview.
Making a good first impression involves fitting into a certain atmosphere and by being appropriate.
For example: you should present yourself appropriately,
- be it a formal business setting or
- a formal social event or
- an informal and casual evening meeting.
Each occasion calls for a different way of dressing. So you must make sure your clothing looks appropriate for the occasion and nothing is out of place. Being clean and well-groomed when meeting someone for the first time is a sure way to make a good first impression.
Read this post for – Top 10 Personal grooming tips
Arrive a bit early and you can have extra time for any unexpected delay. Being punctual makes a strong first impression. Making the other person wait can only help to make a bad impression.
Expression and demeanor
Having a warm and confident smile goes a long way in putting the other person/s at ease and conveys that you are happy to meet them. Extend your hand first and make a firm and confident handshake.
Always make sure to exhibit good manners by being polite, attentive and courteous if you want to make a good first impression.
If you have anything in common with the person, you can use that to open the conversation as that makes it easy to move along the conversation. Bad moods and nervousness must be avoided.
Make eye contact
Look directly into the eyes of the person you are meeting for the first time with a smile during the handshake. Maintain eye contact most of the time without staring.
By this you can give an impression of trustworthiness. It also conveys your positive attitude and the message that you are interested in what the other person is saying.
You should project a confident posture by standing upright and holding your head high. Always keep your body turned towards the person you are speaking to, as it shows your friendly attitude.
Never slouch in the chair or cross your legs and hands as these can send negative signals about you. Your body language should exude confidence and positive attitude (which gets noticed instantly).
Use these 6 habits to improve your posture.
After the handshake stage, conversation forms the major important part of making a first impression. Keep your tone appropriate and maintain a good speaking pace.
Listening with genuine interest is highly important too. Do not interrupt when the other person is talking.
Be careful to project a positive attitude, even in the face of criticism. Strive to contribute appropriately, remembering to maintain enthusiasm with a smile.
During the conversation make sure to make at least one remark appreciating the other person. The appreciation should be specific, brief and above all sincere.
This can get registered in the person’s mind for a long time to come. If you know any information about that person already it will help, so go prepared.
So it is a good idea to take a few minutes to learn something about the person you are about to meet for the first time before you get together. If you include a word of appreciation for the other person’s accomplishments it helps to win over the person. But take care not to overdo this as it can go against you.
Show that you care
One way to show that you care about this person and value the meeting is to keep you mobile phone switched off. No one likes to be kept waiting and watching you talk to someone else. Go ahead and make that good first impression.
Read additional tips on impressing your boss at our post making a good impression at work.